work choices, still wriggling despite having been killed, buried, cremated, sliced, diced...
Stating the facts about industrial relations or climate change won't convince those who are set in their opinions, but it might just persuade the majority, writes Greg Jericho.
When it comes to selling a political message, the mantra seems to be to dismiss facts in favour of a version of the facts as you would wish them to be. New research suggests such an approach might be good when preaching to the converted, but not with swinging voters.
Last week Liberal backbench MP Josh Frydenberg, in an opinion piece in The Australian (paywalled), put forth his claim that industrial relations needs to be back on the agenda because the IR changes since 2007 have seen "productivity slump and costs rise".
Fellow backbencher and chairman of the Liberal Party's "productivity working group" Mr Steve Ciobo also noted last week in an interview in The Australian (paywalled) that productivity had been in "rapid decline" under the Rudd/Gillard governments.
These are pretty remarkable statements given that since the introduction of the Fair Work Act in July 2009, far from being in a "productivity slump" or in "rapid decline", the most recent national accounts show that annual productivity growth is at its highest level for a decade.
Productivity growth under the Rudd/Gillard governments has actually averaged the same as achieved in the last five years of the Howard government (1.06 per cent per annum):